The UNWTO is deeply saddened by the losses of lives and devastation caused by the earthquake that struck Haiti and expresses its support to its people and sincere condolences to those who lost their loved ones.
The severity of yet another natural disaster poses a new challenge for the international community and the UN World Tourism Organization wishes to show its solidarity with the people and the government of Haiti.
Although the number of lives lost and physical devastation are still impossible to be accounted for, the consequences of the earthquake registered so far suggest a disaster of tragic proportions.
The earthquake also hit the UN family. The UN’s headquarters in Port-au-Prince, along with other buildings hosting the world body, have collapsed, leaving some 150 staff members unaccounted for. So far the UN confirmed that 16 peacekeepers serving with the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti died in the quake, and officials believe the number of fatalities is likely to rise in the coming days.
UNWTO stands ready to lend its support during this difficult time by collaborating in the assessment of the damages caused, especially in the tourism sector, and contributing to a recovery plan in the conviction that tourism can become a useful instrument for the necessary reconstruction process.